World’s 10 Highest-Paid Athletes by Forbes

This is a list of the highest-paid athletes in the world for 2015 as ranked by Forbes magazine on their earnings. The boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. topped the list, earning just $13 million less than the next three athletes combined. He has made more than $200 million from his historic fight against Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao actually comes in at second in the list of Highest-Paid Athletes.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Roger Federer finished 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively in the rankings of Highest-Paid Athletes.

Top 10 Highest-Paid Athletes in The World

10. Kobe Bryant – Basketball

The five-time NBA champion, Bryant is at tenth spot amongst Highest-Paid Athletes. He had the highest salary in the NBA for the fifth straight year at $23.5 million in 2014-15.

World's 10 Highest-Paid Athletes by Forbes 1
Pay:   $49.5 Million
Source Of Wealth:   Basketball
Salary/Winnings:   $23.5 M
Endorsements:       $26 M

9. Tiger Woods – Golf

Tiger Woods made ninth amongst Highest-Paid Athletes. He made only seven cuts in 13 events during 2014 and the first half of 2015. It is a staggering fall for a player who made a record 142 straight cuts over seven years ending in 2005. Blame injuries to his elbow and back, which hampered the 14-time Majors winner over the last two years. His last Major win was the 2008 U.S. Open. The injuries dented Woods’ bank account since he couldn’t appear in his typical slate of overseas events where he racks up multi-million appearance fees.

World's 10 Highest-Paid Athletes by Forbes 2
Pay:   $50.6 Million
Source Of Wealth:   Golf
Salary/Winnings:   $600K
Endorsements:       $50 M

8. Phil Mickelson – Golf

Mickelson hold the 8th place in the list of Highest-Paid Athletes. He earns more than $40 million annually from appearances and endorsement partners Callaway, Barclays, KPMG, Exxon Mobil, Rolex and Amgen.

World's 10 Highest-Paid Athletes by Forbes 3
Pay: $50.8 Million
Source Of Wealth: Golf
Salary/Winnings: $2.8 M
Endorsements: $48 M

7. Kevin Durant – Basketball

The four-time NBA scoring champ, Durant comes at no.7 in the list of Highest-Paid Athletes. He won his first MVP trophy in 2014 after leading the Oklahoma Thunder to the second best record in the NBA. The 2015-16 season is the final year on the $85 million contract he signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2010. Durant inked a blockbuster, 10-year deal with Nike in 2014 that could be worth up to $300 million, including royalties. It is the richest endorsement deal of any active athlete.

Highest-Paid Athletes
Pay: $54.2 Million
Source Of Wealth: Basketball
Salary/Winnings: $19.1 M
Endorsements: $35 M

6. LeBron James – Basketball

James is the first NBA player to appear in five straight NBA Finals since the Boston Celtics dynasty of the 1960s. The NBA’s four-time MVP returned to Cleveland in July 2014 when he signed a two-year, $42.1 million contract after four seasons in Miami. James comes at No. 6 in the list of Highest-Paid Athletes.

World's 10 Highest-Paid Athletes by Forbes 4
Pay: $64.8 Million
Source Of Wealth: Basketball
Salary/Winnings: $20.8 M
Endorsements: $44 M

5. Roger Federer – Tennis

After seeing his world ranking drop to No. 7 in 2013, Federer rebounded last year and finished the year ranked second. He continues to be among the world’s best players 17 years after he turned pro. He holds the records for most singles Grand Slam wins (17) and career prize money ($90 million). He appeared in a staggering 18 out of 19 Grand Slam finals between 2005 and 2010. His endorsement portfolio is filled with long-term deals with blue-chip companies like Nike, Rolex and Credit Suisse. He hold the 5th position in the list of Highest-Paid Athletes.

Highest-Paid Athletes
Pay: $67 Million
Source Of Wealth: Tennis
Salary/Winnings: $9 M
Endorsements: $58 M

4. Lionel Messi – Soccer

The record four-time FIFA player of the year, Messi is at no. 4 in the list of Highest-Paid Athletes. The Argentine holds records for most goals in Barca competitions, most goals in La Liga competitions, most goals scored in a calendar year and most hat tricks scored. His superhuman talent is why sponsor Samsung cast him as superhero Iron Man in their ad to promote the Avengers film.

Highest-Paid Athletes
Pay: $73.8 Million
Source Of Wealth: Soccer
Salary/Winnings: $51.8 M
Endorsements: $22 M

3. Cristiano Ronaldo – Soccer

The three-time and reigning FIFA best player in the world comes at No. 3 amongst Highest-Paid Athletes. He has scored 60 or more goals in each of the last four calendar years and averages a goal a game for his club Real Madrid. He has a $50+ million a year salary (with bonuses) through 2018 to show for it. He’s also the world’s most popular athlete, with 102 million Facebook and 35 million Twitter followers. His commercially good looks have landed him mega sponsorships with Nike and his own underwear and shirt line CR7.

Highest-Paid Athletes
Pay: $79.6 Million
Source Of Wealth: Soccer
Salary/Winnings: $52.6 M
Endorsements: $27 M

2. Manny Pacquiao – Boxing

Pacquiao’s $125 million payday for his bout against Floyd Mayweather was four times his previous high for a boxing match (Pacman’s boxing earnings also include $23 million for his November fight against Chris Algieri). Pacquiao boosted his income further through endorsement deals with Nike, Foot Locker, Wonderful Pistachios, Nestle’s Butterfinger and a handful in the Philippines. The pugilist and Filipino Congressman is sidelined for the rest of 2015 after shoulder surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff.

Highest-Paid Athletes
Pay: $160 Million
Source Of Wealth: Boxing
Salary/Winnings: $148 M
Endorsements: $12 M

1. Floyd Mayweather – Boxing

Mayweather’s $300 million year shatters the record for athlete earnings, which was previously held by Tiger Woods who banked $115 million in 2008. Mayweather’s May 2 fight against Manny Pacquiao crushed multiple boxing financial records, including PPV buys (4.4 million), total gate ($73 million) and sponsorships ($13 million). The fight is expected to gross more than $600 million once everything is counted.

Highest-Paid Athletes
Pay: $300 Million
Source Of Wealth: Boxing
Salary/Winnings: $285 M
Endorsements: $15 M

Leave a Reply